Cab Franc should be no stranger to anyone. A Bergamot favorite from France, especially when compared with its far more commercially recognized Bordeaux brethren, Merlot and Cabernet. Looking to Loire for inspiration has helped in identifying the right combination of cool climate sites and farming decisions, like when to pick, and brought the grape new found success here in the US. The cooler sites part of the equation is a big one, as it opens up a wider playing field for any winemaker because Cab Franc shows a more versatile range when it’s not baking in the sun. Equally enjoyable as an age worthy and savory serious wine as it is a spicy-crunchy and light bodied one.
Lo-Fi Wines plays on the love of vintage vinyl, the low fidelity sound with pops and cracks that makes the music sound alive. Lifelong friends (and audiophiles) Mike Roth and Craig Winchester began the Lo-Fi gig in 2014 in Los Alamos in Santa Barbara county with that quality in mind – wine that is honest with no studio polish. They embraced the “glou glou” style, making wine for every day drinking, using whole cluster fermentation and frequently carbonic maceration, and minimal intervention hallmarks like neutral barrels, native yeasts, little or no sulfur additions, and no other adjustments dialed in, ever.
This Cab Franc comes from two organic vineyards in the Los Olivos AVA, Coquelicot Estate and Oak Savanna Vineyard, both with fine sandy loam soils. The grapes were fermented by carbonic maceration, sealed in a tank pumped full of CO2 gas, then pressed after 10 days and aged for 6 months in 50-50 concrete and neutral barrel. A cheeky splash of 15% Gamay rounds out this highly sessionable Franc, but it’s so quaffable it may not last to the other side of the record.
Impossibly crushable Cab Franc. This is a turkey feast’s very best companion, a juicy red that’s light enough for the white meat, and spicy enough for the dark. It’s got that tart pucker oh so reminiscent of canned cranberry and the pyrazine green zippiness of a fresh jalapeño. Fresh cracked black pepper on a hearty helping of plums and blackberry cobbler, there is plenty of savory core to this Cab. And yet it is so quenchingly light you will certainly keep reaching for second helpings.